A COUNTY cricket star has revealed how Andrew Flintoff’s 2005 Ashes display inspired him to play the sport.

Fynn Hudson-Prentice joined Sussex County Cricket Club at the age of ten before being released in 2016.

But the 26-year-old, who was born in Haywards Heath, returned to his boyhood club last year, with dreams of playing international cricket.

In an interview on The Argus Podcast, Fynn said he began playing cricket at the age of eight after his mother became fed up with standing cold on the touchline watching him play football.

“The 2005 Ashes were the year after that, and that was where my love for cricket began,” he said.

“Andrew Flintoff has always been my hero – an all-rounder. He was a massive sporting icon of mine, and that 2005 Ashes series was fantastic.

“It’s such a shame his injuries meant he couldn’t have such a huge career.

“But every time he stepped on the field he game 110 per cent, which is something I’ve always looked up to.”

The Argus: Sussex CCC all-rounder Fynn Hudson-PrenticeSussex CCC all-rounder Fynn Hudson-Prentice

Flintoff was awarded the accolade of Player of the Series, along Australia’s Shane Warne, who died last week at the age of 52.

Following the death of the cricket legend, Fynn revealed the shock among the cricketing community.

“He played a massive role in that Ashes series too and was a massive figure for Australian cricket for decades,” he said.

“I wouldn’t say he was a personal idol of mine because he always did so well against us. But there’s a classic chant of, ‘I wish you were English’.

“He was almost like somebody you loved to hate because he was always so good.

“His charism and attitude, and how loved he was off the field. He was an idol to so many cricketing fans and players.

“It’s a bit of shock. It hasn’t really sunk that he’s not with us anymore.”

Warne, who was inducted into the International Cricket Council’s Cricket Hall Of Fame in 2013, died from natural causes in Thailand.

Looking ahead to the 2022 season, which will begin on April 7, Fynn said he hopes to help Sussex CCC improve on last year’s disappointing campaign, as well as eyeing a chance of playing international cricket.

“In the short term, I’d love to get involved in The Hundred. Hopefully I can get involved in that this season,” he said.

“In more of the long term, international cricket – I still think it’s achievable. That’s maybe more a goal of mine the next few years to build up to.

“The goal of the squad at the moment is general improvements. We finished bottom of the championship last year. We don’t want to be doing that again.

“We want to be, if we can, pushing to get into division one.”

Sussex CCC announced earlier this week that captain Travis Head is to be replaced by Cheteshwar Pujara for the majority of the upcoming season.

The full episode of The Argus Podcast featuring Fynn is available now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.